Executive Functioning And Organisation

Hello. Welcome to the 360 method podcast where we talk about everything autism 360, what’s going on in the program, the team members, and most importantly chatting with our mindset extraordinaire Renae Tate . Hello Renae. 

How are you today? 

Going well going well, happy friday to us. 

Yes. Great to get to this time of the week. And I’m sure all the parents are looking forward to the weekend and having a little bit of downtime after busy, couple of weeks getting back to school. I know for me, it’s been a big, big shift for my children. I’ve got my daughter going into year 11 and my son in year eight. And I think yeah, every year is just new and it’s quite a bit for the parents to take on.

Yeah, absolutely. We are kind of rolling our way towards March. It’s happening. We lock it or not. 

So this week we’re going to be talking about executive functioning and organization. So before we get started, I’m your host Ella Bailey. I’m an autism 360 veteran coach, and explorer of all things parenting. support. Before I became an autism 360 team member, I worked at a psychological research lab, and as well as psychology, I wanted to say welcome, welcome to our lovely listeners. We would love to hear from you as always, please, please, please drop us a line at hello@autism360.com. We’d love to hear you stories, you know, feedback from what we chatted about last week in our anxiety episode, we’d love to hear it all. 

So before we get started, I’d like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and for where this podcast is being broadcast today. This is not a substitute for medical advice. This is a support podcast community but it is not going to replace our medical or allied health supports. If you are worried about your child, please do go seek that professional assistance. 

Executive Functioning And OrganisationSo, this week we are talking about organization and executive functioning. It’s a big topic for a lot of people. We are, but we’ll be looking at it, firstly from that kind of parenting strategy perspective, and then Renae’s going to popping the awesome mindset perspective. 

So I’ll just get that organization and executive function, I guess. You know, it’s something that’s a lot of people don’t realize the issue that’s going on with their kiddo, their some executive functioning struggles. They’re not able to play, take a step back from what’s going on in the day to day and make bigger plans and those sorts of things. Often parents can say that or just not following through being. Couple of parents think that their kids are just kind of being a bit lazy, being a bit sloppy. We really worked on one is that there is a limited capacity or different capacity for organizing themselves and planning for their lives. 

And so I would sort encouraged parents, you know, how look at your kiddos behaviors? What can you say patent wise? What can you say big picture? Is it helping? Is it hindering the plans that you have in place of alignment sessions that you’ll use? How are they coping with the everyday? Well, I guess that’s kind of background, are we able to understand where our kid is coming from and I understand that actually what’s going on is not a lack of motivation, a lack of drive, a lack of will to succeed. It’s just more that absolutely what they have is a struggle with their executive function. 

Look At Your Child’s Strengths

And so my top tip for that is go with your child’s strengths. Autistic kiddos, neurodiverse, but their brain functioning from the typical experience. Well, you don’t want to stress. That doesn’t have to be negative. It doesn’t mean that they’re worse at X or better at Y. It just means that we need to think that side the box in terms of things that are bound to be helpful, to support them in their executive functioning and that’s not bad. So there’s a lot of kids on the spectrum, adults on the spectrum who get a lot out of usually processing information that typically will be available in audio format, audio, or written format. They might process it better. 

So go with your child’s strengths, figure out how they process information, what their learning style is and use that to support them in their executive functioning rather than trying to fit them into an executive functioning model that maybe make sense to you or that you see other people, using people that just going to set them up to struggle already struggling with. So that would be my first thought. Go with your child’s strengths leading to the way that they process information, and we use technology that works for them to work with their executive functioning that’s tip number one. 

Look For Autistic Adult Inspiration

Tip number two is look for autistic adult inspiration. So I really want to stress that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. When it comes to organization, when it comes to processing, understanding our kids, understanding what’s going to work with them. We’re not starting from scratch. There’s a whole community out there of autistic adult of actually autistic individuals who can give us insight into things that our kids may not be able to communicate with us yet.

So let’s use that and autistic adults out there who says, this doesn’t work for me, but what does work for me is keeping audio notes to myself. And that’s something they can share as an insight into our children’s understanding and oh my god, you know, let’s hack that. There are Facebook groups run by autistic adults. There are blogs run by autistic adults that are happy to share their experience of moving through the world as in you’re a digressed person. 

So we can go to, to say respectfully, as a parents to a neurodiverse child, the child on the spectrum, can you give me some insights, some ways that might help to support my child’s executive functioning, you know, use the resources that are available. I think that’s such an important resource to tap into. It’s going to shortcut a whole lot of trial and errors and type a straight to some things that are going to be maybe not something we would have gone with originally, but that are going to set out . Kids up for success.

Stop Support Then Move To Independence

And then my last one, my last tip is going to be when it comes to executive functioning, stop with support and then move to independence. So for example, our kiddo is not succeeding with managing their homework load. They’re not succeeding with remembering the things they age through for school or whatever, not help before we even set up the support that they need to manage those tasks now to push for independence right away. 

So instead of saying, well, that’s something that you need to be able to manage on your own, you know, go ahead and do that or pushing them in, in a way that really prioritizes their own management at that situation, recognizing that in order to learn those executive functioning skills and move to independence, we need to start with support. We need to start with accommodations with, in place to give them support and accommodations that they need to manage it now, when we don’t have the skills. 

We ought to be in a place where they can learn this. That makes sense because often parents who make this idea, you know, developmentally appropriate, you know, by this age, they need to be able to write as they age, they need to be able to Y and the reality is it doesn’t matter what you think you can make this, stop me and quantitative judgment out of it while you’re putting it into court before you moved them to independence. Well, what do you think Renae. 

Mindset Approach

Absolutely Ella. And I think that’s a really good tip to just be quite patient with them, but also, you know, setting our children up for success as much as we can with the right support. Because I think that sometimes it’s hard to understand, you know, why can’t you remember this? Or why can’t you organize this? I think it’s just being very understanding, but giving them the tools to really help support them is really important. 

I had a mother the other week who she said, my house is just such a mess. I’ve got so much clutter. And, you know, we looked at how that was impacting on her, but also on her children and, you know, things like that. Like de-cluttering making the house as clutter-free as possible. Helping our children in that way will really help them not feel overwhelmed or overloaded in a way that helps them to be able to organize themselves more or organizing themselves the night before so that the mornings aren’t, you know, too stressful and crazy. I think they’re just really good things to go, oh, you know, like let’s lay our uniforms out the night before, you know, where’s your shoes, where’s your bags. Just those things that in the morning, then, you know, they don’t have as much to try and think about. And it really. Sam, you know, get off on the right foot for the day.

So I think they’re really good tips to mention about supporting them. And I guess probably just to add to one that I think would be good for the parents, because you know, the more organized we are, the more we teach our children those skills as well. As being organized helps everything run a lot smoother as we know. A lot of the parents come to me and they say, you know, I’m not great at organization or having a routine or that structure. 

Look At What’s Important

So, I had a tip for the parents that I thought would help help the parents out there as well. And so one of the things that I think is a really good exercise is to look at what your rocks. So what are those most important things in your life right now? And Stephen Covey has some really good videos on YouTube that I really encourage you to look at about how to get more out of, you know, time management, to be more organized and to really prioritize those things that are most important. And I know a lot of the parents. Well, you know, I miss out on a lot of things, so don’t get to do a lot of things right now for myself. 

That’s only at the moment and things will change over time, but I think prioritizing is really the key as well, because when you look, what am I most important things right now? Structure yourself and organize yourself around that. You are going to be so much more effective in your time and organization, which is not only helping you, but it helps your whole family. So as good exercise to just get a piece of paper, draw out, what am I, big rocks? What are those most important things in my life right now?

And, you know, it could be, you know, obviously my family is really important. My work, my health, those things, my relationship with my partner, they may be your big rocks right now, you know, and then all those other little things can come in around that. Friends, hobbies, different things like that. But if you’re not putting your energy and your focus into the things that are most effective, then that’s not going to help you to, you know, be as organized and focused on the things that matter the most. 

What Are Your Priorities

So, from that, then look at what are your priorities? And then I would encourage you to break it down into what are my top three goals for, you know, in these areas, what do I want to achieve? Have that bigger picture perspective. And from those goals that you’ve then set out, I would encourage you to then go, right? What do I need to achieve each week? And each day towards that? So basically chunking it down. And one of the things that I suggest to people is to then look at each day, what am I most important tasks? What are those things that are most important to get done? And when we are focusing on those things and doing those things, w everything else flows so much better around that. 

So first of all, looking at your big rocks, what are your goals around those? What is it that you want for your family, for your relationship, for your health, for your work? And then look at chunking that down even further so that every week and every day you’re really clear about, well, what, what do I need to do? And when you chunk it down, like, it becomes achievable. I write down my top three things, my most important tasks, and I crossed those off first, so that then other things can get fit in around that. But I think when you’re juggling work and family and children, you know, our time management and organization has to be really good. 

And so by getting clear about what your priorities are, what your most important tasks are that really helps you to focus and to be more organized around the things that matter the most. And when you’re organized, you teach those skills to your children, but also, you know, you’re able to help them be more organized because you’re not running. You know, feeling like a crazy person going, I’ve got so many things to do. I don’t even know where to begin. 

So that’s my tip for the parents out there today, just to, you know, get really clear about it. Where are your leads? Where are those things that you’re putting your time and energy that’s not actually helping you to achieve your goals? Sitting on social media more than what you should be. Maybe I’m spending a lot of time talking to my friends on the phone. Yes, that’s nice. But right now, is that actually helping you to achieve what you need to be achieving each day? 

So I think it’s just getting that laser focus, what’s my priorities. And chunking it down so that you can get everything done that you need to stay organized. And as I said, you know, we can teach these skills to our kids as well, because if we don’t have that happening for ourselves, I think that it just creates a lot more chaos for our children as well. And the more we can keep their things calm and very orderly the easier it is for our children to be able to organize themselves and stay on top of things as well. 

So they’re my tips for today, Ella, I think we’ve covered the children and the parents. So I really look forward to hearing people’s feedback on that. You know, do you feel like maybe there’s some areas at the moment where you are putting your time and energy? That’s not actually helping you to achieve what you need to each day for your family. And just looking at those things, honestly, because you will get a lot more achieved and you will really feel like you’re a lot more in control when you’re focusing on those things.

So just wrapping up today’s session, looking at those skills to organize your child and yourself as the parents, you know, we need to teach them those skills, but we can’t necessarily teach those skills if we are not using them ourselves.

Thank you for joining us today. And we look forward to seeing you at the next.

Executive Functioning And Organisation
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Executive Functioning And Organisation
This podcast hosted by our team member Ella Bailey and our mindset coach Renae Tate, is about executive functioning and organisation.
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Autism 360
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